Not many teams have the luxury that the Packers do in the upcoming NFL Draft. At least not ones outside of the bottom-10 in the first round.
A sitting duck at 29th overall, the Packers are in a position where they can either stand pat with their spot or they can trade out of the first round and gain another second round selection and another pick or two from a team rearing to gain another first-rounder.
The only time Packers general manager Ted Thompson has traded out of the first was in 2008 when he moved from No. 30 to 36. A trade with the New York Jets that helped the Packers land a familiar face in Jordy Nelson. You may recognize the name.
If anything, history is on Thompson's side if he chooses to shop his 29th overall pick.
From 1992 through 2014, 74 pick-for-pick first-round trades took place. In the long run, the significant advantage looms large for the teams who elected to trade down as opposed to the teams who traded up. Associate Sports Editor for Graphiq and PointAfter, Will Laws, dove into the analytics in a piece from just prior to the 2015 NFL Draft.
"I tallied the career starts of the 287 draft-picks-turned-players that changed hands in those deals, and the results give an overwhelming advantage towards the teams who elected to trade down. Those 74 trades yielded a net loss of 2,348 starts for the teams who gave up picks to move up in the first round—an average of 31.7 starts lost per trade, or about two seasons worth of a starting-caliber NFL player. From that standpoint, only seven teams have benefited from trading up since the 2003 draft, while the other 19 clubs who chose to do so saw a net loss in players’ starts."
All of this depends on Thompson's board, which is an ongoing mystery to anyone and everyone right now, much like it is every year. Further entertaining the universally shared opinion that mock drafts trying to predict what position the Packers will target with their first pick are moot.
it boils down to this: if Thompson's guy is there, he'll sit at No. 29. If he isn't, expect a shake-up near the end of the night. Much to the chagrin of Packer fans across the pond who stayed awake till the early morning hours waiting to see who their favorite team selects.
It's a prime positioning for Green Bay, who are just three picks shy of being in the second round. It offers far more freedom and less of a gamble if they did choose to trade down, as their 29th overall selection is essentially a second-rounder.
NFL Media analyst Elliot Harrison maintains stagnancy on his stance that the Packers would take McCaffrey at No. 29. Putting to rest any ideology of the Packers swapping spots.
"A decent running back can found on Day 2 or even Day 3 of the draft (SEE: Johnson, David). Yet, if Christian McCaffrey falls to 29, Thompson might have to say yes. Green Bay can afford to pass on an RB in the first round. The same can't be said for a pass rusher."
If the Packers gain another second round choice (and possibly more via trade), it would make sense given the extensive talent source of cornerbacks in this year's crop. A prime position of need for the Packers and a position that many experts think Thompson would target. Either that, running back or pass-rusher.
Another scenario involves the Packers aiming for a skill position such as wide receiver thanks to the deep defensive talent on the board. With Nelson turning 32 years old a month following the draft and Davante Adams yet to prove that he can be a viable, consistent number one receiver, it would make sense for Green Bay to at least take a mere glance in that direction.
If the Packers do trade out of the first round, they'd lose a fifth-year option on at least one of their second-round selections. Rather than becoming an unrestricted free agent going into year five, he would become one going into year four instead.
The options are there for the Packers, and options are never a bad thing for a team to have in the NFL Draft.
- Like Like
- 2 points